Dariya the maid getting a boy to touch her large breast is just one incident that occurs when Yohan and Victor infiltrate two families, forcing young Liza and blind Ekaterina to appear in porn, but they are not so innocent themselves.
Sanja the Bandit after a particularly vicious shootout, stumbles into the musician Oleg at the local banya. Following a retelling of a semi-mythological story, the pair decide to make a pilgrimage to a "bell-tower of happiness".
During the bloody war in Chechnya, a British couple and two Russian soldiers are taken hostage by Chechen rebels. Two of the hostages are then released to bring the money for the British woman who is forced to wait for the ransom.
Sergei and Simon have to deliver a suitcase full of heroin to Mikhalych or else they will be killed. There is one minor detail: the only problem-solving technique they are familiar with is ... See full summary »
Having previously seen "Pro urodov i ljudej" in glorious sepia, I was already familiar with the idiosyncratic world of Balabanov, very much akin to Caro and Jeunet's vision of mankind in their similarly bleak rendition of emotional down-spiraling. Constructed as a simile of a theme with many variations, recurring and developing throughout the film, this superbly shot black and white gem could have been shot in the 50s or the 70s or the 90s - so simple and so powerful are its characters and circumstances. The continuous attempts to fit in, to find one's niche in the empty and desolate landscape of a somewhat modern, but clearly abandoned city constitute the narrative, punctuated by eccentric yet very realistic characters some of whom we only hear. Simple events can turn out to be phantasmagorias, and the most unusual noises and visual sequences reveal to be but a look from aside. Camera-work is mesmerizing - the sequences in the dark foyer, the crane shot over the city near the end of the film, as well as the ending - are simply stunning. Fans of Raoul Ruiz, Caro and Jeunet - this is a must-see film!
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